Rory McIlroy is on the brink (again) on Open Championship eve

Rory McIlroy enters Sunday on the Scottish Open with the 54-hole lead.

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GULLANE, Scotland — Nicely, this might be becoming, wouldn’t it?

A day earlier than Rory McIlroy returns to Royal Liverpool because the presumptive Open Championship favourite, he’ll enter Sunday on the Scottish Open because the 54-hole chief. For what feels just like the umpteenth time this season (and what our data inform us is definitely the third time), he’ll maintain the lead heading into the ultimate spherical of an occasion, a victory firmly inside the realm of risk — and the following Open Championship hype prepare following not far behind.

In fact, it might be solely becoming for McIlroy to land his first win of the PGA Tour season right here on the Scottish. He has performed a few of the finest golf of anybody alive over the past month and has a sequence of heartbreaks and no wins to point out for it.

His sport is rounding again into kind and, he says, it’s simpler for him to “discover it” now than at any level in latest reminiscence. He additionally hasn’t received since a victory in Dubai in January, which marks a stunning chilly streak for a golfer of McIlroy’s capability and monitor document.

It will even be becoming for him to bag that first win of the season hours earlier than he’ll face the full burden of expectation in Hoylake. He’s already the presumptive betting favourite heading into the week — the product of each that latest monitor document and his first Open win in 2014 additionally coming at Royal Liverpool.

McIlroy will already be essentially the most talked-about title on-site within the wake of [gestures vaguely at the state of professional golf]. Now it’s totally potential he’ll do these issues whereas additionally having claimed his newest victory lower than a day earlier than his arrival. Contemplating the best way his final 18 months (and, to some extent, 9 years) have gone, that a lot wouldn’t be stunning.

Damned in the event you do, damned in the event you don’t.

It’s simply as possible that McIlroy (-13) received’t win on Sunday. He leads by only one heading into the ultimate spherical on the Renaissance Membership, and the leaderboard behind him is stacked. Tom Kim is one again. Tommy Fleetwood is 2 again. Shane Lowry is three again. Max Homa is 4 again.

Rory McIlroy tees off on Saturday at the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open

2023 Genesis Scottish Open tee times: Round 4 groupings for Sunday


Kevin Cunningham

The excellent news, in the event you’re Rory, is that issues are speculated to get laborious tomorrow. Winds upward of 40 mph are within the forecast, together with regular rain. For the second consecutive day, the DP World Tour has moved up tee instances as a way to accommodate the climate. However that’s concerning the finish of the excellent news in the event you’re Rory. Is it potential the factor you need most can also be the worst factor for you?

“Once more, I can’t even predict what a superb rating goes to be as a result of we haven’t seen the circumstances but,” he mentioned. “However I’d say something within the purple numbers tomorrow goes to be a hell of a rating.”

There’s an actual likelihood that Rory is preventing the sphere on the Scottish Open, however on Saturday night time in Gullane, it certain appears like he’s preventing the inevitable.

“I bear in mind my first Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in 2005,” he mentioned Saturday. “Eighteen years is simply too lengthy for me to choose up a trophy.”

James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is a information and options editor at GOLF, writing tales for the web site and journal. He manages the Scorching Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and makes use of his on-camera expertise throughout the model’s platforms. Previous to becoming a member of GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse College, throughout which period he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Lengthy Island, the place he’s from. He may be reached at

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Printed : 2023-07-15 16:42:44

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